Well, I was hoping to wax all profound (I am far more tempted to wax profane right now) on a dramatic Wildcat victory over Tennessee today, but it seems the 'Cats forgot to close the deal once again.
It's hard to say this Kentucky team is bad, they aren't -- they are just erratic and lack leadership. It beggars belief to see your junior point guard, all flush with confidence from suddenly awaking from a slumber and sparking a huge comeback, turn the ball over 3 times in the last 7 minutes en route to 6 all by himself, all but two completely unforced. We have come to expect 4 turnover/2rebound games from Bobby Perry lately, but Bradley seemingly had his act together when it came to careless turnovers -- he was still taking bad shots, but half a loaf is better than none. If Ramel shared the ball with his teammates as well as he as he did the opposition, I think we might have pulled it off.
But far be it from me to criticize only Bradley and Perry -- there is more where that came from. What exactly was Randolph Morris doing on defense? I think I know -- avoiding foul trouble by... drumroll, please... guarding Bernard King! That's right, folks -- the only person Morris shut out last night was the great Bernie, and by some bizarre oversight, UT hung his jersey up so high in the rafters that Bernie never got into the game. To make it worse, Bruce Pearl didn't even look to put him in!
But lest we look biased in picking on Bruce, I feel a little Tubby Smith criticism coming on. Hey, Tubs, what exactly was that defense UK was in all night? I mean, we focused on Lofton so well he dropped 23 on us with a gimpy ankle. Was that like a "diamond and one", or a 5 on 4? Look, I know Lofton's a great shooter, but were we expecting him to go off for 50 or something? If so, I guess that explains why we let every other UT starter able to raise his hand above his shoulder score double-digits on us. Heck, our defense on Lofton was so good, he only managed one spurt of 10 points in 30 seconds last night -- the rest were distributed pretty evenly.
But why stop there? -- just when UT was going on about a 10-0 run, Smith decides to put freshman Michael Porter in the game, and Michael felt so sorry Lofton wasn't getting his shots (being gimped up and all), he left him open 2 straight times -- Hey, just trying to help a brother out. Oh, and Tubby -- did I mention the statistically solid correlation between pace and scoring for UT? I did? Must've slipped your mind, 'cause your team didn't seem to mind the pace getting up into UT's comfort zone. Did we forget how to run down the shot clock or something?
But wait, did I forget Joe Crawford? Yes, I did, because Joe played pretty darn well. He lost Lofton a couple of times, but I think we can all understand how that could happen. And Joe did something he does every other game or so -- shot the ball into the basket.
But can we ignore only 5 minutes for Perry Stevenson (3 minutes more that the scholarship player nee walk-on, Mark Coury)? Stevenson must be the most efficient player in the entire SEC per minute played -- 5 minutes, 4 rebounds and 2 points. I guess Bobby Perry just needs all that extra playing time to work on his game.
Well, there is my rant. I could write more, but I'm sure anybody could. Will we ever get this whole basketball thing right this year? Here's hoping...